Wednesday, January 28, 2015


Fences have long been an important part of Ocracoke village. In years past, islanders often had two fences surrounding their to separate the garden from the yard, and another to protect the garden from roaming wild horses. In addition, each small family cemetery was typically enclosed by a picket fence.

The fence in the photo below is new, but it looks match the small cemetery it surrounds on Howard Street.

The original fence around the Wheeler and Tressie Howard graveyard on Howard Street had deteriorated, so the family hired island carpenter, Len Skinner, to build a new fence just a few months ago. He did a terrific job of matching the existing wooden fence with sturdy, weathered boards. You would think the fence had been there, protecting the graves, for decades.

This month's Ocracoke Newsletter is about the almost forgotten 1890 "Oyster Wars" that pitted islanders against outside business interests. You can read the article here:


  1. Anonymous8:27 AM

    The deck on my house a few years back was replaced. It had become a safety hazard. The deck was approximately 25 years old, Within a year or two several boards, about a five foot width of boards needed to be replaced. As I write this today more boards need to be replaced as they have rotted. The carpenter said the wood boards sold theses days do not last as long (as boards grown from trees 30 plus years ago )in exterior applications. My deck is in the shade so I suppose it never has a chance to dry out-- now I regret not choosing a recycled material. Perhaps a wood stain is not the proper protection for my deck -- I want to paint it but my unpaid painter of a husband balks maybe it will be painted this year,-- a costly experiment. Though the carpenter is not a painter, he wants to make his customer happy by doing as they pay him to do, but choosing not to protect the fence with paint ,,,that Mr Skinner may be back sooner then you think. PS the soil is a mixture of clay and we can see with the boards removed pools of water, no doubt this moist environment is contributing to the decay, however paint exists for a reason, paint can't flake off from a door if wasn't painted in the first place. A properly sanded sealed primed and painted wooden door will last many years.

  2. *21 Clothespins (You can choose to space these however you like, I staggered mine but didn't really measure this part--just put them on the way I liked them!) pvc picket fence

  3. jessica4:21 AM

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